It says there is a need to include longer-term measures to keep drivers and cyclists segregated in a safer cycling environment and for schools to include the subject in curricula.
In a move designed to boost the protection of vulnerable road users to traffic going straight on at junctions, the Department for Transport is considering this new ’give way’ rule.
In the Highway Code, Rule 170 states that pedestrians have priority “if they have started to cross.” However it does not explain what should happen when someone is about to step off a pavement at the same time a vehicle arrives at a junction.
In addition the Department of Transport is considering adopting the ‘Dutch reach’ technique for opening car doors – which involves people in a car using the hand which is furthest from the handle, encouraging them to check over their shoulder for approaching traffic.
Earlier this year, an IAM RoadSmart survey found that 73% of respondents felt that the Government was not doing enough to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians (reference 1), and more than 50% thought that the current driving test did not properly prepare new drivers to deal safely with cyclists and pedestrians.
Around three-quarters thought that more cycle paths would encourage more people to take up cycling, and more than half thought that cycle training in schools should be compulsory.
Last year there were 18,321 pedal cyclist casualties and 23,805 pedestrian casualties on UK roads according to Government figures.
Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research from IAM RoadSmart said, “For us it’s all about segregation, and safe streets for cycling and walking if you want to get cycle usage to really take off.
“IAM RoadSmart has long said that if the Government is serious about wanting to increase the uptake of cycling and reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, there has to be a long-term approach to a comprehensive cycle path network and it’s good to see the announcement of a £3 million contract with Sustrans which is a step towards that goal.”